Electronics for a museum exhibit
We are working on the electronics for a hands-on museum exhibit that tests reaction time and shows how you can improve their reaction time through practice. The main components of the control unit are a BeagleBone Black, an 8-Channel Relay Board (to control a set of race track staging lights), and a custom-made protoboard with resistors and screw terminals (that take input from the start buttons and gas pedals). The exhibit consists of three race cars. Each car has a start button and a gas pedal. When someone presses a start button, then a set of large staging lights count down Ready, 3, 2, 1, Go! The staging lights are similar to what you would see at a drag racing track. The system then measures the time it takes each driver to press his/her gas pedal. The results are displayed on a large monitor (connected to the BBB’s HDMI port) that everyone can see. If anyone presses his/her pedal too early, then the “Too Early!” light goes on and the screen indicates that it was a false start. The system also includes appropriately-timed drag racing sound effects output through the BBB’s HDMI port to an amplifier and set of speakers. Here is a picture of the control board we made. It will go inside a clear acrylic box to protect it. This is a Rev C BeagleBone Black running Debian Linux. The custom software is written in Python.